As part of its sustainability pledge, Central England Co-op is going to plant a tree for every service its Funeralcare team carries out.
Starting this month, the scheme should see around 20,000 trees planted a year, removing around 6,000 tonnes of CO2 over their lifetime.
The society is working with More Trees, who work on tree-planting projects around the world, focusing on locations where they benefit most and all supporting different environmental needs. Projects in Madagascar, Haiti and Kenya are among those lined up so far.
Meanwhile, for those who want something more personal, CEC is partnering with Eforests to give people, for a small cost, the opportunity to plant a tree in the name of a person who’s died, in a county of their choice so they can visit.
Central England is also hoping to partner with local projects across the 20 counties it serves to plant trees in the community. The co-op is looking for nominations of local causes and planting projects it can support with donations of saplings.
Head of funerals Lee Bevan said: “We’re fully committed to playing our part to address the impact of climate change and aim to reduce carbon emissions by 90% across our own operations by 2030, an industry leading commitment.
“This ambitious goal forms part of our society purpose – ‘creating a sustainable society for all’ – and showcases how by choosing wisely and always looking for the best solution that will protect our planet, we can ensure we’re environmentally sustainable.
“Our new planting promise, to plant a tree for every funeral we do, will support our sustainability goals, with each tree offsetting 0.3 tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime – the equivalent of 733 miles in a car.
“At the same time this project will give our families the knowledge that by giving us the honour of organising their loved ones’ funeral, it will have a positive impact on the environment, while also having the opportunity to join in with their own personal dedication of a tree closer to home.
“We’re also delighted to be able to get our fantastic communities to join us in making a difference to the planet and I’d encourage people to get in touch with their nominations for local causes and projects who could benefit from a donation of saplings, or who would like to directly work with us to plant trees.”